A Canadian medical assistant has filed a class-action lawsuit against the country’s government and pharmaceutical industry, alleging the country is paying a premium for drugs that can lead to severe, life-threatening side effects.
Medical assistant certification was introduced in 2014 to boost the ability of doctors to treat people with acute conditions such as migraine and depression.
But in recent years, the certification has also been used to fill the void left by the medical school’s retirement, the release said.
According to the complaint, the average Canadian medical office spends $8,300 per year on certification.
The complaint said that in recent decades, the cost of administering and maintaining certification has skyrocketed.
In 2014, the Canadian Association of Medical Specialists said the average cost of certification was $4,400, up from $2,800 in 2008.
That increase has resulted in a certification fee that is now $2.5 million.
“While certification fees are increasing, the costs are still not competitive with private medical practice,” said the release, which is based on data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canada Revenue Agency.
While some medical specialists argue that the certification fee is simply a cost of doing business, others say it is a barrier to entry into the market.
Migraine medicine can cost up to $20,000 in the United States, according to the American College of Physicians.
Many Canadians use the certification process as a way to avoid paying for a prescription.
The class-Action Lawsuit alleges that some Canadians have taken advantage of the process, and are paying higher prices than they would in private practice.
Canada’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Health Canada have yet to respond to the class-actions lawsuit.